SUPERMOTO OF NATIONS
Team Manager: Sébastien Bonnal
Riders: Thomas Chareyre, Laurent Fath, Sylvain Bidart
FUTUREPROOF FRANCE AT THE DOUBLE!
Team France extended their domination of the FIM Supermoto of Nations for another season with overall victory on home territory in Tremblay-en-France, near Paris. Despite inclement weather a large crowd found their way to the Circuit Carole in the early morning, lining the spectacularly fast track to watch established heroes Thomas Chareyre (TM), Laurent Fath (KTM) and Sylvain Bidart (Honda) take lead roles, although the star of the show was arguably Emerick Bunod (Honda), who took overall victory in a wet first race as he led the home nation Junior team to a sensational one-two overall.
After taking second to his young compatriot in the opening event, the legendary Chareyre roared to victory in race three after watching his teammate Bidart do the same in tricky conditions in the second race, which only went ahead after great work from the circuit officials to prepare the off-road sections on the over two kilometre track, despite the continued downpour. Meanwhile, Diego Monticelli (TM) and Elia Sammartin (Honda) scored a podium apiece for Team Italy in race one and three respectively, ensuring they would hold off Germany for third overall, despite a strong second place in race two for Steffen Albrecht (Husqvarna).
However, a total of five podium finishes for Chareyre, Fath and Bidart combined to give the French an unassailable points-lead and their sixth successive gold medal in the discipline. Meanwhile, Bunod and his teammates Nicolas Cousin (Honda) and Axel Marie-Luce (Yamaha) ensured the future of the series looks almost certain to remain in French hands.
FRANCE, CHALLENGED BUT UNBEATEN!
Team France took gold in the 2018 FIM SuperMoto of Nations for the fifth successive season although this was one of the closest and most entertaining editions of the series yet. Race day started at Circuit de la Ribera in Guadassuar, Spain, in warm and sunny conditions with fans packing out the stands of the fast and spectacular racetrack near Valencia and they weren’t to be disappointed with three dramatic and exciting races.
Team Italy rider Diego Monticelli took the holeshot in the first race but he was passed immediately by French pole setter Laurent Fath in the second corner, with Team Spain’s Joan Llados and Milan Sitniansky of the Czech Republic also riding well. When Fath lost ground after twisting his back wheel on a jump, Monticelli pounced for the lead but Team France’s Thomas Chareyre had also made a great start from fourteenth on the grid and was soon closing the gap, making his move with four laps to go to seal the victory ahead of the Italian and the impressive Czech.
In race two it was the third French rider Sylvain Bidart who took the holeshot in front of Monticelli and Sitniansky, whilst his teammate Fath also had a good start from fourteenth and was out for revenge after his technical problems in race one, rapidly climbing up to fourth position. This time it was Bidart that got unlucky, a puncture in his rear tyre ruling him out of podium contention as Monticelli came through for the win, with Fath securing a crucial second place for the French ahead of Sitniansky.
Solid supporting rides from Erik Provaznik and Petr Vorlicek meant that the Czech team led the way into the final race ahead of Spain, Italy and France, but neither were able to make the podium in a dramatic affair that saw Bidart and Chareyre take first and third place, either side of Elia Sammartin in second, as France claimed the win by a single point.
FRANCE OUT IN FRONT AGAIN
France took their sixth victory from twelve editions of the FIM Supermoto of Nations on home territory when the 2017 edition took place in warm and sunny conditions at the Circuit Carole in Tremblay-en-France in September. With the sun out early, lots of spectators found their way to the racetrack near Paris and the grandstands were packed full of Supermoto fans. Circuit Carole is one of the best venues in Europe and all riders felt at home on the spectacular, fast track giving the crowd some fantastic entertainment over the two days of the event.
As in the individual series, Supermoto legend Thomas Chareyre (TM) was pushed hard by emerging German rivals Markus Class (Husqvarna) and Marc-Reiner Schmidt (SWM) but the Frenchman was ably assisted by Laurent Fath (Honda) and Sylvain Bidart (Honda), who spread the team success over the three races to ensure overall victory.
After qualifying wins for Chareyre and Fath, the pair finished first and third respectively in the first race, which was for the nominated group 1 and group 2 riders. Class took second place in that race but in the absence of Chareyre in race 2, which was for group 2 and group 3 riders, he took advantage to steal a much-needed victory for Germany. Crucially, however, with Fath and Bidart alongside him on the podium it was advantage France going into the final race.
With the group 1 riders back in alongside group 3, Chareyre was unleashed once more and with Bidart riding shotgun the pair stormed to a French one-two that put the seal on their fourth title in a row, whilst third place for Edgardo Borella (SWM) secured third overall for Italy.